We have moved to a separate site - http://www.mccartyseasons.net
Funny, this blog has ended up being a victim of our mad tweeting, instagram posts and Facebook page. Most of the action is occurring over there so check us out at @bmacrunning at twitter and accompany Facebook page.
Conversations people have with their kids are many, when they are younger. For example, I will ask how school was on a given day, how dancing went after a particular practice or were they good to their grandparents while I was at work! Yesterday morning I ventured by old Red Auerbach statue in Fanuel Hall and it got me thinking about one of these conversations I had with my 7 year old daughter.
To set the background, our family was on vacation up in the North Conway area last month and we ventured to the Settlers Green Outlets which are a major attraction for shippers from all parts of New England (Amazingly it was my first trip to these stores in over 20 years even though we vacation in that area often). As we moved from store to store, my 7 year old found running shoes from the Reebok outlet. Now as I have mentioned recently on Twitter, I am an Asic's guy so Reeboks do not have much appeal to me - but that was not the case for my 7 year old!
She found sneakers that were for running. My first thought was why waste money on running sneakers when she does not run. So we decided that we would look at the other stores to see if there were other sneakers she liked and we left these size 12s on the shelf. As we left the store, she continued to talk about these sneakers and then mentioned that she would like to run like "you do daddy" and perhaps "run a race with you" sometime.
These statements got me thinking on how to get my 7 year old into running - my experience with distance running honestly is not great...I was a sprinter in high school and a soccer / hockey player. I dealt in short spurts and not many miles. When I took up running over the winter, I did it to lose weight (and have lost 35lbs so far btw). I have learned ways to improve my running since that time and betters ways to eat but never would have dreamed of teaching others how to run. So my daughters statements somewhat perplexed me. How do I help her run? Further, run with me?
So getting back to our shoe story...the rest of the visit, we looked for sneakers other than the reeboks but struck out so we headed back to Reebok to buy these size 12 ATS19 sneakers. We walked into the store, ventured to the back and went to the shelf - THEY WERE GONE! Given this was an outlet, such stories are probably numerous for many shoppers but my daughter was devastated! She wanted to honestly start running and saw these as a way to do so. So as parents to when they make a bad decision and it gets their kids all upset, we spent the next week looking for an alternative! We went back to these outlets several times over the next week but struck our each time - not only Reebok but also Adidas, Nike, New Balance and UA as well!
Finally we made one more stop the day before we were heading back to Massachusetts. Let's the scene! My wife and I split up and I took the kids to the aforementioned store (my wife ventures to the other end down near New Balance after getting cupcakes). I struck out at each store and yet our daughter was holding in. Then I got the text! New Balance had got a new shipment of shoes and they had something our daughter might like. We ran across the parking lot and once trying out these sneakers, a big smile came over our 7 year old - as George Constanza's father would say on on Seinfeld..."serenity now!"
So now I am left with the perplexing statements from above. She has the shoes and the willingness to run - at least I think she does. So now with the issue in front of me, I have to figure out a plan. So if I were talking to Red Auerbach, what would he say? How about this "Natural abilities are like natural plants...they need pruning by study." In my case, If she likes to run so much, then I will run with her and we can discuss what mistakes I have made along the way. After all I am not building something complex here - I am just helping her improve on something that I hope she enjoys.
And when the day comes when she is running faster and further than me arrives, well then I will need pruning to catch up!
Well, another week is behind me for running and only a few more weeks till #TeamGuzman hits the routes of the Reach the Beach Relay. While the running week for me ends on Saturday, I will say that I got out on the RTB route this morning for a nice run though as I tweeted, I lacked motivation! Perhaps that is from climbing Mt Attitash yesterday which has left sore or perhaps just the fact I am on vacation and should be relaxing.
The goal for the few the next weeks for me is simple: train for the RTB, stay healthy and continue to contemplate if marathons are in my future. For the training end, I will do some hills and sprints to increase my overall pace; in terms of staying healthy, nothing major in terms of challenge in regards to my running that could lead to injury; and finally am I cut out to run a marathon? For an answer to that, I need to do some more thinking on the topic.
Honestly I would love to run 50 halfs in 50 states but perhaps they is not possible. So then my goal is to find great halfs to run whether it is big sur in California or the wine country halfs in the same locale. There are extreme halfs that occur in the Midwest and then there are some that occur in locations such as the Florida keys and Disney that add a family vacation element to them. All in between this, perhaps I aim for the Boston Marathon as well. But I would need to qualify so that will need to be explored.
Anyhow, enough random thoughts. Let's get to the pics of the last week
Here we are...the end of another week of running that included my fastest 10k and visits to a few scenic locations. As for the 10k, it was the highlight of the week and while fog took away all the views in Rye, NH, it was still an enjoyable run though as I posted in my review of the race, I realized that I "hate to run at night!" In any event, as I also posted in the review, the race was well organized and the volunteers made things go well.
So with this 10k out of the way, my focus shifts to the Reach the Beach relay in September with Team Guzman. My plan is to put in some training to build up my leg strength (today I did some beach running for example) and speed. Also as one of my legs is downhill for 10+ miles so will also be doing some hill training along the way.
Ok, enough words from me. Here is the pictures of the past week
Each week is a different voyage for me. My goal each time I head out is to run a different path, see different things and vary my distances. There are training methods that I mix in as well each time (Fartlek has been my focus of late) and I do have certain goals that I am looking to achieve (such as conquering some hills at Reach the Beach in September and of course breaking solidly through 2 hrs with my half marathon training).
The running this past week (and today) continued towards these goals. My pace has improved dramatically since I implemented the Fartlek training as I have dropped my 10k pace down towards 8min per mile, from 9 min per mile only a few weeks back. With the 10k coming this Thursday (Rye Harbor 10k) I hope to see this improvement play out and perhaps I take out 8 min/mile! So let's call this week a success!
And here are the pics.
I have many goals for this blog and one of them is to educate others on my mishaps, experiences and anything else that happens as I venture around from place to place. In addition, I would like this journal to make me a better runner because what is better than posting one's mishaps to the world, right? Anyhow, this post is not about mistakes but about the Saunders Rye Harbor 10k which took place last night in Rye, NH.
Now to set the background of this race, as the pictures here show, the area is amazingly scenic with plenty of shoreline to see. There is one point on route 1a when coming around the bend entering North Hampton that it looks like one is driving into the ocean! Just great views all around. As a result of this beauty, I signed up for the Rye Harbor 10k - nothing like running with plenty to look at! (Now for clarification, you run along shoreline bit near the harbor and not the mansions or this bend - just trying to give you an idea of the beauty of Rye)
So as I ventured up 95 last night on my way to the race, awaiting a paradise of great views, a thick fog cloud moved down towards me, south on the highway. In fact, this fog embraced the whole coast and what I hoped to see while running 6.25 miles, was well...hidden by the fog. That was a bummer because as I drove the route the night before to get a flavor for it, I was expecting a great run and plenty to see. Instead my focus had to be on...well running!
So with the scenery hidden by the fog, let's discuss the race. First, the course is flat except for one smallish hill near the 3.5 mile mark. It's steapness did not bother me too much but with the group of people I was pacing with, it took out a portion of them thinning the number of people running with around me. The rest of the course from there had a slightly downhill tilt to it and that sort of unwound the pain that was incurred running up this smallish hill. The last 1.75 miles is along the coastline and ideal if you are kicking it into overdrive as it is very straight. There is two curves at the end with a tight narrow lane to run down but once you make it through there, time to kick it into overdrive and finish up the last 1/3rd mile.
Here are a few other tid bits to consider as well
- The start is packed and I was able to go up the outside to get in front of the pack. I did not start slow as it was only a 10k (vs the half marathons which have a different strategy) and pushed my target pace from the start. That worked out well.
- I had mixed emotions about taking water because I was trying to run hard and did not want to sacrifice my shot at breaking 8 min per mile. Each time I did get water, i barely could drink it was I was running at a high pace (for me). This in hindsight, I should have just skipped these as they just slowed me down. Plus again it was only a 10k.
- The last mile was confusing to me. At 5.25 miles on my watch and on my phone, the race organizers had the 5 mile mark posted. I am unsure if they mad a mistake or they were going for "1 mile left" type thinking. Or perhaps both of my devices were wrong?
In terms of the organization of the race, it was well managed and the people who were doing the managing, were great. Now, keep in mind that this is my third race of the year so perhaps I don't share the perspectives of a seasoned vet but all the volunteers I encountered were great to me at every turn and answered all of my questions. The announcer was especially entertaining as he made a comment on each runner as they approached or crossed the finish line.
In regards to how I did, I would say this first: I hate running at night! Over the past 9 months, one thing has been constant with my running performance - in the mornings, after running 7 miles, I feel great. At night, after 6.25 miles, I felt like crap! Ok, I realize that the sleep variable is coming into play here but still. And with Reach the Beach coming next month and one of my legs will be done at night, I guess I should start focusing on improving this end of my running. Though as I complain here, I still ran my best 10k time ever and from an overall performance standpoint, I killed it! But it still hurt!
So what's left? Well here are some random thoughts to close out this review.
- Trolly setup could have been better: basically the Trolley driver had to manuever through many people getting into the main area and out. I realize that perhaps this was not an necessarily ideal location for a Trolley, but perhaps some thinking should be done to make it easier so he does not end up hitting anyone by accident.
- Water and Gatorade setup: The people managing this put out a wagon that was full of ice, water and Gatorade. It was located to the right as you entered the post race area and was easy as heck to get a drink.
- Goodies: They had the normal post race goodies but there is one thing I would have added...a cliff bar or something alike. The half marathons that I ran earlier this year both featured a power bar type company sponsor. Might be a nice addition for next year if they could get such!
- How about a half marathon? There is enough beach line to setup a half marathon in this area. Running by the mansions would be great and that turn that looks like you are going into the water would be just outstanding.
So that is my review of the race. Feel free to comment on the story and share your feedback!
Thanks for reading
A few years back, I was a coach for the local high school and often found myself giving speeches to the team before each game to motivate the group to play well against often very steap odds. And more often than not, we would put up a good fight but in the end, talent won out and we would lose. Each time following these close losses, I would share the positives and argue they were building blocks for the future but I was not sure if it was falling on deaf ears.
As the season went on, we continued to lose more games and it became more of a challenge each tine to get the team motivated to go out on the ice and play hard. We needed a win to show that my words had merit! Without a win, the words were empty. Or so I thought. What I did not realize was the fact that winning was not the motivation of the group. Their motivation was to play well together against all odds. And with each effort and improvement, they were getting stronger as a group. Once confidence kicked in, the focus shifted to their rival...
We played our rival high school in the third to last game of the season. The rink was quiet (just as any JV game would be) but the parents were all there (as always) cheering the team on. I gave my normal pregame spiel beforehand and the team got on the ice. We had the varsity fourth line for this game as our rival always did the same. Problem was their overall talent was just so much better than ours...but when the puck dropped, that did not matter.
As the game went on, we snuck two goals past their keeper and had a 2-0 lead heading into the third period. The guys were excited and had been giving their all on the ice. With about 5 minutes left in the third period, our best player got into a skirmish and was thrown in the box for roughing. Our rival then scores quickly and the game gets close. Normally when this happened of the course of this season, my guys would fall back and give up the game but not this time! They fought hard and when the buzzer rang out, we had taken a 3-2 victory (empty netter made it 3 and they added a 2 with a few seconds). Our first win of the year. Afterward the looks on these kids faces said it all - our hard work finally led to a win!
We would finish up our final two games going 1-1 to end with 2 wins on the year. This group would not play together again as was the case with any JV program but they (and I) had a memory that would be treasured for a lifetime. Motivation to do well in the end paid dividends and serves as a reminder that if we are motivated to work hard and do well, we will reap rewards in some way shape or fashion.
So a quick housekeeping note: I have switched my Twitter handle to "BMacRunning" from mccarty_brendan. Reason? Because this account is devoted to running and is motivation for me to finish a half marathon at a much quicker pace than the current 2 hrs I sit at...and perhaps a...gulp...marathon someday.
Aside from this, I have been tweeting about "Reach the Beach" recently and you are probably asking "what is reach the beach?" Well it is a great competition featuring teams that collectively run 200 miles from Bretton Woods to Hampton beach in New Hampshire. Our team of 12 will be making another trip after debuting in 2014. The members have changed slightly (with yours truly running this year after not doing so last year and 3 others going out with injury or other commitments). The team and its new members look solid and speaking on their behalf, I say we are ready to Reach the beach!
All my training over the past 10 days and going forward is/will be geared toward completing the three runs I have (including a 10.9 mile first leg) for this race and with this new training regimen, I have seen my pace drop by a half minute per mile this far. The training involves 50 yard sprints various times throughout a given run, up hill and downhill. After seeing these results, I wish I had been doing this all along over the past 6 months!
So keep your eyes open as #TeamGuzman or whatever our name is, runs through NH and puts in another great effort!
So when you go running, do you do it for the "love of the game" or for something else? When I started I got out there each night and did it because I wanted to lose weight and get into better shape. When I completed my first half marathon this past May, I was hoping to just finish without falling on my face in pain. When I ran my first 10 mile jaunt weeks before the half, I said to myself, "why am I doing this?"
Brendan McCarty is an owner of the McCarty Seasons Condo and also an former athlete hoping to be one again. Running the world in hope of becoming more in shape and a better person. This is his blog.
Half Marathon Routes completed